To the Editor:
As Americans prepare for what is bound to be a COVID-compromised Christmas, our forced isolation from those we love may bring home a lesson that must inform our future: People the world over are all connected. In the early days of 2020, I — and I expect many readers — heard of a viral outbreak in Wuhan. I was saddened but believed it had little and less to do with the United States. Now months into quarantines, masking, and social distancing we can see that half a world away is not as far as it used to be.
Now with hope in the form of several vaccines on the horizon, it is important to remember the lessons of the disease as we roll out the cure. Even as treatment becomes available to Americans, the United States has a role to play in ensuring that the poor and vulnerable around the world will not be left behind. Congress must ensure that emergency funding is allocated to vaccination efforts globally as part of our foreign policy. Without such efforts, the cycle of hardship and suffering will drag on for years in poor and vulnerable countries that cannot produce their own vaccines or afford to import proven vaccines from abroad.
By calling or emailing your representatives and asking them to support emergency funding, you can save lives around the world. Because if this pandemic has shown us anything. We are all in this together.